Friday, August 9, 2013

Wisconsin State Fair: Eating My Way Thru It

The Wisconsin State Fair is home to a ton of food items on a stick and crazy deep fried concoctions involving bacon and a multitude of other ingredients. So many, they website has pages dedicated to them. We even have an event to kick off the Fair known as the Sporkies awards. This contest is judged by local celebrities including my foodie friend Nick. I took some of his suggestions when I planned to get my grub on at the Fair.

Of course the Fair is also known for the agriculture and horticultural displays, the latest and greatest As-Seen-On-TV-Items, rides, games, music and drinking, but to's all about the FOOD.

I had the opportunity to go twice during the 11 day run and there are still 3 days left so if you plan to go this weekend, here are my suggestions for food! (They don't have a food map of the grounds (work on that for next year State Fair) but the info booths are staffed with super friendly folks that will lead you to what you want!)

Jumbo Pickle - a must!!! Found in the Expo Building on the south end of the grounds. I went with just an original but there are garlic and spicier options

Cheese Curds - need I say more? There are tons of options for these little fried pieces of happiness, but my favorite location is just north of the Budweiser Pavilion and all they sell are these curds. It's something about the breading that I just love!

Honey Lemonade from the Wisconsin Products Pavillion. Super refreshing for an August day. My only complaint was that there were no lids for the cups and I wanted to walk thru the barns and not have debris fall into my cup.

Deep friend peanut butter and bacon nuggets with Berryweiss jelly! This was my favorite item on Saturday. It reminded me of toast in the morning with a savory factor. I had a Summer Shandy to go with these. I plan to recreate these with the new Jif Whipped Peanut Butter I bought at the store this week - stay tuned!

Saz's Sampler Platter - cheese curds, mozzarella sticks and sour cream & onion fries. This is a staple at both State Fair and Summerfest - always delicious.

 We couldn't eat this cake, but I loved it - A tribute to all things Wisconsin and well deserving of it's award!

I got to go back to the Fair on Tuesday with some friends and stumbled across the Fried PB & Jelly on a stick at Machine Shed - west side of the grounds sort of near the ejection seat!. Not knowing what to expect, I excitedly ordered one to compare to the nuggets. It's a deep fried Uncrustables sandwich on a stick and then powder sugar is sprinkled over the top. This became my favorite item at this year's Fair. Sure it didn't take a rocket scientist to create this one, but sometimes the simplest items taste the best. My friends were jealous and ordered them later in the evening.

My friend ordered the Krispy Kreme burger and said it was pretty good. She liked the sweet and salty combo. This is also at Machine Shed.
 Loaded fries from Machine Shed - these were ordered twice as well because they were so good.

My friend really wanted to ride the ejection seat but couldn't find a partner to go with her. Just watching it, I thought I was going to lose my dinner but I give props to people brave enough to be flung into the air on it!

The Micro is a newer area at State Fair, featuring many awesome Wisconsin microbrews for a very reasonable price. I tried the MKE Brewing Company Creme Puff Ale and as much as I was hoping for a tinge of sweetness to it, it wasn't really sweet, but very refreshing.

I also got a Hinterland Cherry Wit beer and it was the right amount of sweetness I was looking for on an Summery August temperatured evening!

Keg Killing is in effect at The Micro and if you "kill the keg" a siren goes off and you are introduced to the other pub folks, recognized for your efforts and given a t-shirt. This goes for the Flight School area too. Flight School provides you 3 smaller-sized beers for the same price as the other beers in the Micro, but you get to try more!

I don't have pictures of the following but some brief thoughts on other foods had at the Fair.
-Deep Fried Pickle Spears - my friend was in heaven with them dipping it in ranch. Found near the WE Energies booth.
-Pig Candy on a stick - Deep fried bacon on a stick that is then marinated in sweet & spicy sauce. Skip it - didn't like it and my second piece numbed my taste buds it was so spicy. (Machine Shed)
-Roasted Corn - This is a Fair staple and I have worked this booth - they sell thousands of cobs a day dunked in melty butter! I didn't get it this year but the New Berlin Lions Club runs the booth with a ton of volunteers and makes this Fair staple a lasting tradition.
-Cream Puff - I am not a fan of them personally, but that is something that the Wisconsin State Fair is known for and they sell by the thousands. The production line is awesome to watch as well, but I avoid that area because it is so crowded.
-Baked Potato - Wisconsin Products Pavillion - can't go wrong with that
-Maple Syrup Cotton Candy - Wisconsin Products Pavillion - I usually buy this every year, but took a year off this time in search of something else sweet that I never found.
-Cheapest Beer at the Fair (Miller Products) - found by the Oriental stores on the north west side
-Grilled Cheese - Wisconsin Products Pavillion - fresh melty cheese between yummy bread, you can't go wrong!

So that was my trip through the Fair for 2013. Hope you can make it out and try all the great foods and have some fun at the Fair.

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